Today is Earth Day and everyone is thinking of innovative ways to "go green." From recycling to planting trees, there are countless ways to appreciate the Earth. Christians are reminded of the miracle of creation and how important it is to take care of the world around us.
Green Church Program in Canada
In 2006, the Green Church program began in Canada. Now there are over 40 member church communities that are helping Christians to go green. Norman Lévesque is the director of the Green Church and spoke to Vatican Radio about caring for the environment and having hope for the future. Lévesque thinks Christians everywhere are seeing the environmental crisis needs an answer from Christians and the church as well as industries, schools and citizens. According to Lévesque, "It’s not alarmist. We’re going to bring hope. We’re going to bring love for creation… And finally, with hope and love, there’s also faith. We need to have faith in God that he can give us the tools we need to change."
Three Important Pillars
Christians and concerned people can learn from the three pillars of the Green Church program in Canada. These three pillars include awareness, action and spirituality. Churches get the benefit of tools to take action in essential environmental areas including water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, energy efficiency, ethical eating and sustainable transportation. Churches help to raise awareness through educational campaigns and tips printed in church publications. We are blessed to live in a beautiful world and each one of us is responsible to take care of it. Environmental testing programs help us determine which areas need to be cleaned up.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Beyond the three pillars, there are three other words that help to define the environmental efforts we see on Earth Day that should be continued throughout the year. One day is not enough to erase the damage of the past or ensure a safer world for future generations. We need to do a little every day to make a difference over the long term. Cleaning out your old stuff, donating items to charity and property disposing of useless items makes Earth a better place to hang our hats.
Appreciate His World
Often we rush through our daily tasks without taking time out to smell the flowers or even notice they are in bloom. Taking ten minutes to lay out in a wicker chair to soak up the sunshine is beneficial for our bodies, minds and spirits. We get a healthy, natural dose of Vitamin D from the sun. The fresh air fills our lungs and we rediscover the joy of nature each day. When we feel this pleasure, it further fuels our desire to take care of His world and the people we share it with.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5